This week on NOW:
NOW takes a look at the controversy surrounding last Friday's selection by the SEC of the watchdog that is supposed to police accounting firms. John H. Biggs is the man just about everyone wanted to be the chief of the accounting industry oversight board, the man to keep an eye on the books. Everyone, that is, except the industry's friends in Washington and the White House. Biggs, retiring Chairman and CEO of TIAA-CREF has spoken publicly and testified repeatedly to Congress about the need for tougher regulation of accountants. In an exclusive interview, Bill Moyers speaks with Biggs about why he was passed over for the top job and about the selection of William H. Webster. He expresses his concern about the report that SEC chairman Harvey L. Pitt withheld information which may have raised concerns about Webster's appointment. Says Biggs, "I think he has lost the confidence of the commission, and I think he's lost the confidence of the American public. I think at this point he should certainly be considering resignation."
DEMOCRACY IN DANGER: The stranglehold of money over politics is just one crisis threatening our democracy, and one of the subjects discussed in NOW's latest roundtable discussion. "Democracy in Danger" grapples with the limits and potential of the current two-party system through an in-depth examination of what's at stake for America.
Over and over again we hear the same refrain: Democracy carries a price tag that only the wealthy can afford. Now, however, at least four states have become laboratories for the novel idea that if anyone should own the politicians, the people should. The idea is called "Clean Elections" and it involves public funding of campaigns.